Werkley Cemetery (St. John's Cemetery)
An Erie County map published in 1886 shows this burial plot on the
farm of "P. and A. Werkly" on the west side of Guideboard Road.
Unwritten opinion says that Jacob Werkly gave this burial plot in 1840.
One of the oldest markers is that of Jacob fries who was buried in 1851.
The cemetery is unenclosed. Interments have been made in recent years.
Fresh cut flowers decorate an occasional grave giving evidence that sentiment still lives.
The place is so over grown with weeds and bushes that it is difficult to clearly outline the
limits of the cemetery.
A prominent resident of the town of Tonawanda, now deceased, told your historian that
when the road was widened several remains were exhumed and reinterred in a common,
unmarked graves.
There is no association to care for the grounds. Lot owners in a few instances perform
that duty. But in most cases there are none living who can recall the departed and the
markers are crumbling away.
The town of Tonawanda, or an association formed by the descendants of the deceased,
should enclose this burial plot and provide for its upkeep or the bodies should be removed
to Elmlawn or other cemeteries. A marker should then be placed on the spot indicating to
future generations the place where many pioneers were laid away.
Written in the margin:
The first interment was in 1829.
Organized as a "association' in 1800.
Has been in an "abandoned" condition till 1932. the Tonawanda historical Society took up to work of improvement. Now * * * , retortion of * and markers, 8 *. Pre - * on * May 27, 1934. F* S. Parkhurst, Pres. Town board approved $200.00 for expenses. * * written in German script in 1850.* in it's historical Society.
Two soldiers from the Mexican War - 1846 buried here.

Burial Plot
Few people were aware that there was at one time a burial plot on the
Old Hamilton Cherry Farm, River Road.
What is now the property of the Buffalo Slag Company was a part of the original farm.
Between the railroad track which runs to the the Wickwire Plant and the large pile of slag
on the east side of the road, a burial plot containing several graves was a well know landmark as late as the year 1880.
In May of each year, two soldiers graves were decorated with a potted geranium
and a tiny flag; the Scott Post no. 129 G.A.R. performs this service.
Carlisle R. Cherry says, "I was told when a boy 45 years ago,
That two Negroes were buried there, also two white people".
How the burial plots came to be there, just how many graves there were,
and whether or not bodies are under the pile of slag or were removed is not know.


Return to Homepage